Articles Posted in Same Sex Green Cards

In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the adjustment of status interview for permanent residence. What happens when a denial is issued? To hear the answer to this question just keep on watching.

Overview: 

As part of the application process for permanent residence based on marriage, you and your spouse are required to attend an in person interview before your green card may be issued. In this video we focus on the marriage visa interview. So what happens when things go wrong?

Typically couples prepare for the green card interview by bringing all of the necessary documents to verify to the immigration officer that they have a bona fide marriage (such documents may include photographs of the couple together and with friends and family, evidence of joint accounts, evidence of commingling of finances, evidence of cohabitation, and joint responsibility of assets and liabilities). In some cases, however the immigration officer may not be convinced by a couple’s particular situation. The immigration officer sometimes finds issue with something the client said, or there may be some inconsistencies that capture the attention of the immigration officer, etc. In these cases, at the conclusion of the interview the immigration officer will notify the couple that they will not able to make an immediate decision. They will send the couple home and tell them to wait for a decision in the mail. If the couple does not receive an approval notice in the mail within 30 days, what will likely happen is that USCIS will send a notice of intent to deny (NOID). In most cases this notice is issued within 30 days of the green card interview.

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In this segment Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses immigration options for same-sex couples. The Law Office of Jacob J. Sapochnick has been a long time advocate for same-sex and LGBT immigration rights. Our office has worked diligently to assist same-sex couples and the LGBT community in their immigration endeavors since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Windsor v. United States, which allows legally married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits including immigration relief.

Overview:

Can all same-sex couples get legally married now?

No. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act requires the federal government to recognize marriages in states where same-sex marriage is legal. It does not require all states to legalize or recognize same-sex marriage.

Can they file for Immigration Benefits?

Yes, same-sex couples who are legally married (married in a state allowing same-sex couples to marry) are entitled to the same immigration benefits as heterosexual couples.

For more information about green cards for same-sex couples please visit our website.

For a free consultation please contact us.

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In this video, Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses one of your frequently asked questions: I entered the United States on the visa waiver program 2 years ago. My stay has now expired. Recently, I married a US Citizen. Can I get my Green Card inside the US?

Overview: 

This question comes to us from a follower in Kansas City. He says: I am an Italian national that entered the United States on the visa waiver program 2 years ago. My visa waiver has now expired. I married a US Citizen recently. Can I get my green card within the United States?

Firstly, the visa waiver program grants foreign nationals from eligible countries, the ability to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa. Once a foreign national overstays this 90-day period, however, that individual loses most of their rights including their right to apply for permanent residency (green card).

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. answers one of your frequently asked questions: I overstayed my visa and I am now married to a U.S. Citizen. Am I eligible for a green card?

Overview: 

I am married to a US Citizen but I came to the United States over 10 years ago, I overstayed my visa. Am I eligible to apply for a green card?

The good news is, even if you have overstayed or worked in the United States illegally,  if you are married to a US Citizen it is possible to legalize and apply for permanent residence. The key to determine your eligibility lies in the manner in which you entered the United States. To be eligible for permanent residence, you must have been inspected by a U.S. Customs Official at a U.S. Port of entry. In other words, you must have entered the United States legally and received an I-94 record of arrival/departure proving that you were inspected upon entry. If all goes well, the immigration officer will waive the overstay and illegal employment, at the time of your marriage interview if you can prove that you were inspected by showing your I-94. Any other grounds of inadmissability such as certain crimes, fraud, or willful misrepresentation may subject you to a bar for a certain period of time. In these circumstances, you will need to obtain a waiver before applying for permanent residence.

For a free consultation please contact our office.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your frequently asked questions: I stayed overseas after my green card expired. Can I renew my green card?

Overview: 

This is a very important question that we often receive from our followers. Although the green card is a permanent resident card, there are certain rules you must follow to maintain your permanent resident status. If you leave the United States for more than one year, without obtaining a re-entry permit (a document that would preserve your residency), you may risk losing your green card.

In this particular situation, a person who has been out of the country for three and a half years is now at risk of losing their permanent resident status. There are two issues that arise with this situation. The first issue is that it is not going to be possible to renew the green card from overseas. Secondly, even if the green card had not expired, trying to re-enter the United States after such a long period of absence could be a problem. This is because the presumption is that you have abandoned your permanent residency, having been out of the country for so long.

Generally, persons who have stayed overseas for more than a year, but who maintain a valid unexpired green card, may apply for re-entry to the United States by applying for a returning resident visa called SB-1 at a U.S. Consulate overseas. To be successful, you must prove that you had circumstances that were beyond your control requiring you to stay overseas. This may be difficult to prove if you have stayed overseas for a prolonged period of time. The less time you spend abroad after the year, the easier it will be to obtain the SB-1 visa. You must also show that you are not abandoning your permanent residency.

If your green card has already expired and you are overseas, it will be very difficult to re-enter the United States, especially if you have stayed overseas for a prolonged period of time. In this situation you should consult with an attorney to discuss your options based on your situation.

Recap:

  • If you leave the US for more than a year without getting, for example, a reentry permit you may lose your green card.
  • Two issues: not possible to renew it overseas and it could mean you abandoned your residency.
  • Three years is considered a long time; card now is deemed abandoned. Best thing to do is to consult an attorney.
  • If your green card has not yet expired and you have stayed overseas for more than one year, you may be able to apply for the SB-1 Returning Resident Visa.

For more information about the SB-1, please contact our office.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses common reasons for green card denials. To read more about family-based green cards please click here. For information about employment-based green cards click here.

Overview:

There are generally two ways to apply for a permanent resident green card 1. through a qualifying family relationship and 2. through employment. Please note that special categories of green card applicants exist beyond these two options including obtaining a green card through 245i, the diversity immigrant visa program , the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Asylum, and based on a U visa.

There are several reasons a green card application may be denied which may include, but is not limited to the following: health, criminal, and security related issues, failure to demonstrate that the applicant will not become a public charge, failure to respond to a request for evidence by the required deadline, prior immigration violations, inability to meet the requirements for a green card, and not showing up to required immigration appointments.

If your green card application has been denied, you may be able to rescue your application by filing a motion to reopen. To assess your specific case please contact us for a free consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: How do I pass a green card marriage interview?

Overview: 

  • The green card marriage interview usually takes place three to four months after the green card application is filed with CIS
  • In  this video we will will cover tips on how to prepare for your interview, what to expect, and the types of questions you may be asked during the interview

For more resources on what to expect during the I-485 interview please click here and here.

Remember to follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram. For legal advice please contact us.

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In this episode, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick, discusses one of our most frequently asked questions: Can petty theft affect my application for a green card?

Important points to consider:

– Be truthful and disclose any crime on the I-485 application. Failure to do so could be a problem.

– In most cases in most jurisdictions it will not be a problem as long as it’s fully disclosed.

– If it’s one offence, and as long as all the fines and rehabilitation programs has been completed, there is actually an exception.

For additional questions pertaining to crimes that can make you inadmissible please call our office.

Remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram. For more information please visit our website. 

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In this post, Attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq,  will address one of our most frequently asked questions for Same Sex Marriage and Green Cards: Is Proof of Real Marriage Required, Standard of Proof?

Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on July 1, 2013:

“After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly. To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”

What about immigration benefits other than for immediate relatives, family-preference immigrants, and fiancés or fiancées? In cases where the immigration laws condition the benefit on the existence of a “marriage” or on one’s status as a “spouse,” will same-sex marriages qualify as marriages for purposes of these benefits?

Yes. Under the U.S. immigration laws, eligibility for a wide range of benefits depends on the meanings of the terms “marriage” or “spouse.” Examples include (but are not limited to) an alien who seeks to qualify as a spouse accompanying or following to join a family-sponsored immigrant, an employment-based immigrant, certain subcategories of nonimmigrants, or an alien who has been granted refugee status or asylum. In all of these cases, a same-sex marriage will be treated exactly the same as an opposite-sex marriage.

For more information click here to go to our website. For legal advice please contact our office. Also remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram 

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